February 22, 2007

New Cancer And Stem Cell Research - Blood & Marrow Transplantation Annual Meetings

Researchers presented their latest findings on stem cell transplantation for severe and often life-threatening diseases at the Feb. 8-12 Blood and Marrow Transplantation (BMT) Tandem Meetings in Keystone, Colorado. This is considered the premiere meeting in blood and marrow transplantation research, education and patient care.

Among this year's major findings, presentations will be made on the following new research:

-- Cancer Stem Cells May Explain Why "Cured" Cancers Come Back. A rare group of cells called cancer stem cells may explain why some cancers go away and then return, suggesting the need for a new paradigm in cancer treatment. Researcher Richard J. Jones, M.D., Johns Hopkins, Baltimore, Md., will present his latest research on clinical trials under way to target cancer stem cells with novel treatments that may apply to virtually all cancers.

-- Older People Can Benefit from Transplant and Do As Well As Younger Patients. Researchers will present two new studies that contradict conventional medical wisdom. The research shows that people in their 60s or older did as well as their younger counterparts when treated with stem cell transplant for cancers of the blood. Muzaffar Qazilbash, M.D., of MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, and Roy Beveridge, M.D., of the Inova Fairfax Hospital transplant program, Falls Church, Va., confirm that if patients are told they are too old for stem cell transplant, chances are it's just not true.

-- African-Americans Receive Fewer Stem Cell Transplants Than Whites. A new study from the Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research will present data finding that African-Americans are less likely than their Caucasian counterparts to receive potentially life-saving stem cell transplants, even when the stem cells are donated by the patient or a relative.

The online newsroom with full news releases, abstracts, a fact sheet and contact information is available at http://www.BMTnewsroom.org.

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